A couple of weeks ago we had dinner with friends at Sutra, in Seattle. This organic-vegan restaurant offers prix fixe dinners with one seating per night. The food is organic, locally sourced, vegan, and gluten-free. Not only is it the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted, but it’s also presented really beautifully.
One of the highlights of our meal was their creamy celeriac fennel soup. Celeriac, also called “celery root”, is a member of the celery family, but it is not the root of the celery that we commonly eat.
I couldn’t persuade Sutra to share their creamy celeriac fennel soup recipe with me, but I’ve found a similar one to what we had, and have modified it a bit to taste almost identical to Sutra’s. The Urfa Biber pepper is the secret ingredient.
Health Benefits of Celeriac
Besides it’s wonderful taste, celeriac has a few health benefits to note as well:
- High in Vitamin K, helps to increases bone mass and ward off osteoporosis. One serving provides 34% of daily requirement
- High in phytonutrients that fight cancer and protect against Alzheimer’s
- Good source of several essential minerals including phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper, and manganese
Creamy Celeriac Fennel Soup*
Celeriac is a winter root vegetable. Look for it in the produce section, it looks somewhat like a gnarled turnip.
1 sweet onion diced
1 large fennel bulb, cored and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
1-2 TBSP coconut oil
4 medium celeriac roots, peeled and diced (about 5 cups)
8 cups veggie broth
1 tsp Urfa Biber (Turkish pepper – you could also use black pepper but the Urfa Biber gives this soup its unique taste)
1 tsp smoked sea salt
¼ cup parsley, chopped (for color and a bit of flavor)
To prepare the celeriac, cut off all the outside, rough skin from the root. The root may have some voids inside the root mass, so cut out any bad spots while chopping.
In a large heavy bottom pot, sauté onion in coconut oil, over medium-high heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add fennel, turn heat to medium-low and sauté until fennel begins to caramelize, stirring occasionally about 12 minutes. Add the celeriac, Urfa Biber pepper, and 8 cups veggie broth. Turn heat to high, bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover, and continue simmering until the celeriac is very tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Using a Vitamix or blender, add parsley and blend until smooth – in batches, only filling blender 1/2 full. (Remember if using a blender to blend any hot liquid, cover the blender lid firmly with a kitchen town, and only fill blender 1/2 full, and start on the lowest speed, to prevent a blender explosion. This is not necessary with the Vitamix, which is made for making hot soups.)
Return to the pot to heat. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Top with a swirl of olive oil, and a dash of smoked paprika.
*This recipe was adapted from Feasting at Home.